Even devoting a long weekend to a stay in Canberra will see you leave with things left undone. The nation’s capital uniquely presents Australia’s story.

Whether you want to celebrate sporting achievements, explore our unique political history, reflect on stories of bravery and courage, see our country and people through the eyes of our artists or experience its character through sound, film, books and engaging exhibitions – you can do it all in Canberra.

“Why does everyone hate Canberra? Politicians only work there, not live there. I love the museums, the war memorial, the restaurants and the easy pace of life.”
– David Koch

There are, of course, two Parliament Houses to visit – the old and the new – both of which have entertaining tours. If you visit when Parliament is in session, you can take a seat in the public gallery and watch Australian democracy in action.

Timing’s also important if you wish to catch the colourful Canberra festivals. Two that stand out are the Floriade flower festival each September, and the Canberra Balloon Fiesta, which takes place in April.

Did you know?
Australia is the only country in the world where you can fly over Parliament House (in a hot air balloon), and it’s probably the only Parliament House on top of which you can kick a footy (half the roof is grass).

How to get there
Qantas and Virgin Blue operate daily direct services from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Brindabella Airlines operates daily direct flights between Canberra, Newcastle and Albury within the Qantas network.

Best time to go
Anytime, however, autumn and spring are particularly beautiful in Canberra.

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Further information
Useful websites:

Official tourism website of Canberra

Parliament of Australia website

Official website of the Floriade

Official website of the Balloon Fiesta

Australian War Memorial website

** This is our original 100 Things to Do Before You Die. First published in 1996. There is an updated 100 Things To Do In Australia Before you die, published in 2011.

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